‘Tis the season of giving, and several Grand Valley staff members took the saying to heart.
At least 15 shopping bags and 10 boxes full of food were donated by faculty and staff members in James H. Zumberge Hall to Replenish, the university's food pantry and food resource for students.
Esther Ricco, executive assistant to the vice president for Finance and Administration, organized the collection of items. About $300 was also donated, and with that Ricco bought more items to donate.
“During Thanksgiving break, I kept hearing of food shortages on the news and was thinking of all our students who have lost jobs or are unable to work,” Ricco said.
Sharalle Arnold, associate director in the Gayle R. Davis Center for Women & Gender Equity, said ending the semester on a high note means Replenish won’t start the first day of the Winter 2021 semester with empty shelves.
With most people being off campus, Arnold said donations to Replenish and usage have been down. However, the need is still there.
“This year, when mySuccessCheck was given to first-year students, more than 200 students identified as food insecure,” Arnold said.
Throughout the Fall 2020 semester, Replenish maintained in-person hours to help meet student needs. Students who visited were asked to show their self-assessment and limit the items they touched.
Replenish is closed during the winter break, but plans to reopen for in-person shopping the week of January 10.
“We will continue to be a resource for our students,” Arnold said.
Anyone interested in donating is encouraged to consider giving non-perishable items. A list can be found on the Replenish website.